Kentucky State Police recently welcomed its largest starting cadet class since 2014, with 103 potential new law enforcement officers, the agency announced Sunday evening.
The class will undergo 24 weeks of basic training with more than 1,000 hours of classroom and field study in a number of police-related subjects. The class will also receive training on the recently purchased integrated video recording system for the first time in the agency’s history.
The video system includes bodycams, which weren’t previously used by state police.
“Wanting to wear the sacred badge of honor like those honorable troopers who came before you is a true testament to your desire to create a better, safer Kentucky,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in the press release. “We wish you the best as you begin your training and thank you in advance for your service.
“Team Kentucky will be praying for you, supporting you and advocating for resources to keep you safe as you work to keep us safe.”
State police said a $15,000 salary increase for state police’s sworn personnel had helped increase the number of officers in the agency. Kentucky now has 899 state troopers, which is an increase of about 22% compared to their staffing level in November 2021. They also said “tireless efforts from the recruitment branch” had aided in the increase.
Beshear introduced plans for a $15,000 raise for troopers in November 2021.
“You are embarking on a journey that will challenge you mentally and physically, but also one that will prepare you for something greater – the selfless act of service to our great commonwealth,” said state police Commissioner Phillip Burnett. “The job of a trooper is not a job, it is a way of life.
“At times it will be difficult and demanding, and many times perilous, but it will also be rewarding, respectful and merciful.”
Most incoming cadets are white men, data show
According to state police, 98 of the 103 cadets in the class are males and 96 of the cadets are white.
Only three of the cadets are Black, according to state police. One incoming cadet is American Indian or Alaskan Native, one is Asian and one is Hispanic or Latino, according to state police data. Five of the cadets are two or more races.
The agency has faced scrutiny over diversity issues in recent years. The top female officer in the department filed a lawsuit against state police earlier this year, alleging she was discriminated against for being a woman.
The agency was also criticized after state law enforcement training materials were found to have references to Adolf Hitler and Robert E. Lee, as well as a video reportedly lifted from a white supremacy website.
Gov. Andy Beshear’s office investigated the issues at the time, and former state police Commissioner Rodney Brewer resigned.
The age range of the class is 20 to 48. Most of the cadets are from Kentucky, but Arizona, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio are represented in the class.
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